CSKA Moscow would have expected to beat Volga Novgorod earlier today - but their opponents have had an excellent start to the season, currently occupying eight spot in the Russian Premier League.
So it was probably always going to be a tight affair. Former Sheffield United striker Luton Shelton gave Volga the lead, before Seydou Doumbia equalised.
But it was one of Europe’s most in-form players who earned CSKA the hard-fought victory - a player who used to play for Manchester United.
Zoran Tosic is the man in question, and he has been enjoying a real rich vein of form in recent games.
Tosic almost left CSKA this summer, with teams from Germany said to be very interested in his signature. However, with the uncertain future of Keisuke Honda rumbling on, the club stood by him and he eventually stayed.
And at the moment, he must be reasonably glad he did. Tosic has played his way back into the first-team fold with a series of impressive turn-outs for the club - leaving new boy Vitinho on the bench in the wake of Alan Dzagoev’s hamstring injury.
Tosic arrived at United from Partizan Belgrade along with countryman Adem Ljajic in 2008 and was quickly dubbed a big prospect for the future.
But the winger only played 15 minutes of Premier League football before leaving for Russia.
Last season he couldn’t get an extended run in the first-team, but now he is their most in form player.
The Serb now has five goals in his last three games after a hat-trick against FK Krasnodar and a solitary strike against Manchester City in the recent Champions League fixture.
Considering he was reportedly on his way just a couple of months ago, it is a fantastic turnaround from the 26-year-old who is absolutely on fire.
United fans will hope that form silences The Etihad on Bonfire Night.
Could Tosic return to the Premier League one day?
image: © Yoca91